Memorial Hermann, BCBS of Texas Announce ACO Partnership

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas has announced a partnership with Memorial Hermann Accountable Care Organization, the ACO of Houston-based Memorial Hermann Health System.

The partnership, set to start in the middle of 2014, will aim to deliver improved patient care while managing healthcare costs. The model will reach these goals through the following strategies:

•    Identifying illness early through care coordination and management
•    Implementing a non-fee-for-service payment arrangement
•    Lowering costs through payer and provider coordination

"This collaboration is an extension of BCBSTX's commitment to enabling innovative, value-based care delivery models, which are designed to reward physicians for managing costs and quality of total patient care while moving from the traditional fee-for-service approach to a fee-for-value payment model," Robert Morrow, MD, senior medical director for BCBSTX, said in the news release.

"Our relationship with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas around accountable care activities is consistent with Memorial Hermann's commitment to quality outcomes and cost management," Chris Lloyd, CEO of MHACO, said in the release. "The efforts we will undertake together will continue to advance the health of the populations we serve."

MHACO has participated in the Medicare Shared Savings Program since July 2012 and has had a commercial ACO contract with Aetna since April.

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